Parco archeologico del Colosseo winner of the MUSEI HIGH TECH open call

17 May 2021

The PArCo’s project for a 3D printed reconstruction of the Lampadius inscription has been selected as one of two winners of the MUSEI HIGH TECH open call.

The open call, promoted by the Lazio Regional Coordination of ICOM Italia in partnership with Sòphia High Tech, was announced to help launch experimental projects that use industry 4.0 technologies to protect our cultural heritage. The numerous submissions originating from the Rome municipal area and the greater Lazio region were judged by an expert panel composed of partners and sponsors of the open call. The judges chose two submissions deemed most deserving of having their studies and prototypes brought to life, prioritizing the experimental usage of innovative products and services.

The PArCo’s submission is based on the great inscription made for the Roman prefect Rufus Caecina Felix Lampadius, found in various pieces during the 1812 excavations of the Colosseum’s underground levels. Reassembled between 1814 and 1822, the slab bears an inscription commemorating the restoration work carried out to the arena floor, podium and terraces, parts of which had suffered severe damage in the earthquake of 443. The presence of small holes originally used to affix metal letters, as well as several scraped away portions of the slab’s surface, constitute the main document mentioning the financing of the Flavian Amphitheater’s construction with the treasure (ex manubiis) looted from the destruction of Jerusalem.

Our project consists of studies and prototypes to create a 3D-printed reconstruction of the large inscription with its original text, utilizing different materials for the stone slab and the letters it once bore. We’ll evaluate whether reverse engineering would be the best way to proceed, using continuous, on-spot laser scanning of the inscription to generate a 3D model (CAD) that would be used to create a to-scale, displayable prototype.

The PArCo’s submission was chosen for the complexity of its reverse engineering process via laser scanning, similar to that used for the recreation of Michelangelo’s David made for the Dubai Expo, scheduled for October 2021. Our challenge will be to optimize the process, making it as cost- and time-efficient as possible.